Navigation Links
Scientists unveil secrets of important natural antibiotic
Date:2/21/2013

An international team of scientists has discovered how an important natural antibiotic called dermcidin, produced by our skin when we sweat, is a highly efficient tool to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous bugs.

Their results could contribute to the development of new antibiotics that control multi-resistant bacteria.

Scientists have uncovered the atomic structure of the compound, enabling them to pinpoint for the first time what makes dermcidin such an efficient weapon in the battle against dangerous bugs.

Although about 1700 types of these natural antibiotics are known to exist, scientists did not until now have a detailed understanding of how they work.

The study, carried out by researchers from the University of Edinburgh and from Goettingen, Tuebingen and Strasbourg, is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sweat spreads highly efficient antibiotics on to our skin, which protect us from dangerous bugs. If our skin becomes injured by a small cut, a scratch, or the sting of a mosquito, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, such as dermcidin, rapidly and efficiently kill invaders.

These natural substances, known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), are more effective in the long term than traditional antibiotics, because germs are not capable of quickly developing resistance against them.

The antimicrobials can attack the bugs' Achilles' heel their cell wall, which cannot be modified quickly to resist attack. Because of this, AMPs have great potential to form a new generation of antibiotics.

Scientists have known for some time that dermcidin is activated in salty, slightly acidic sweat. The molecule then forms tiny channels perforating the cell membrane of bugs, which are stabilised by charged particles of zinc present in sweat. As a consequence, water and charged particles flow uncontrollably across the membrane, eventually killing the harmful microbes.

Through a combination of techniques, scientists were able to determine the atomic structure of the molecular channel. They found that it is unusually long, permeable and adaptable, and so represents a new class of membrane protein.

The team also discovered that dermcidin can adapt to extremely variable types of membrane. Scientists say this could explain why active dermcidin is such an efficient broad-spectrum antibiotic, able to fend off bacteria and fungi at the same time.

The compound is active against many well-known pathogens such as tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or Staphylococcus aureus. Multi-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, in particular, have become an increasing threat for hospital patients. They are insensitive towards conventional antibiotics and so are difficult to treat. Staphylococcus aureus infections can lead to life-threatening diseases such as sepsis and pneumonia. The international team of scientists hopes that their results can contribute to the development of a new class of antibiotics that is able to attack such dangerous germs.

Dr Ulrich Zachariae of the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics, who took part in the study, said: "Antibiotics are not only available on prescription. Our own bodies produce efficient substances to fend off bacteria, fungi and viruses. Now that we know in detail how these natural antibiotics work, we can use this to help develop infection-fighting drugs that are more effective than conventional antibiotics."


'/>"/>

Contact: Catriona Kelly
Catriona.Kelly@ed.ac.uk
44-131-651-4401
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fungi offers new clues in asthma fight, say Cardiff scientists
2. Scientists find promising new approach to preventing progression of breast cancer
3. Hopkins scientists create method to personalize chemotherapy drug selection
4. Spanish scientists develop a pioneering technique to effectively treat mucositis
5. Scientists find calcium is the initial trigger in our immune response to healing
6. Scientists should advance management of behavioral norms
7. Scientists advance the art of magic with a study of Penn and Tellers cups and balls illusion
8. CSHL scientists identify a new strategy for interfering with a potent cancer-causing gene
9. Scientists Find 24 New Genes Linked to Nearsightedness
10. NIH scientists discover promising target to block Staphylococcus infection
11. Scientists find key to growth of bad bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Knowledge is ... be guided by faith. “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse” is the creation of published author, ... cookbooks, novels, and poetry collections. , “I have been writing since high school ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... Management System: an On-demand E-learning system for Clinical and Regulatory education for ... is based on Aerolib`s successful education methodology of Disease Specific Documentation Improvement. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... This month, the CEO ... the name of their drug rehab center in Delray Beach, Florida has been changed ... not only stars such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Chris Farley are dying from ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... Cosmetic ... of plastic surgery procedures in order to make it easier for their readers to ... of the body they impact as well as the techniques used on those particular ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... N.A., announced it recently provided a new $11,250,000 senior credit facility to Sunrise, ... new MB credit facility were used to facilitate a recapitalization of MedPro led ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 19, 2017 ... ... Forecast 2016-2026: Opportunities for Leading Companies – our new ... new report discusses issues and events affecting the Alzheimer,s ... qualitative analyses to answer these key questions: - How ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017  Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. ( Stealth ), ... dysfunction, today announced new additions to its senior leadership ... Medical Officer, and Daniel Geffken as interim ... Jim Carr , Pharm.D. has been promoted to Chief ... to welcome Doug and Daniel to our management team, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY ... continue to set the bar for excellence in customer ... user satisfaction rating among radiation treatment delivery systems in ... Market Intelligence Briefing™. The most recent ratings trend also ... industry peers for 11 of the past 12 quarters. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: